The Patagonia Dirt Roamer Waist Pack is designed with a one-piece perforated mesh waistband.
Its three-litre carrying capacity is shared between one main compartment, two zipped side pockets and two mesh water bottle holders on either side.
Patagonia Dirt Roamer Waist Pack 3L performance
The right-hand adjustable strap means it can hug the body tightly, which provides impressive stability, aided by the distribution of its 3-litre carrying capacity across the whole width rather than being focused on one pocket.
Stability and lightweight feel are the Dirt Roamer’s stand-out features. Even on the roughest descents, where others tended to jump up, bounce or rotate, the Dirt Roamer remained stable. I didn’t have to fiddle with it after every run, and there was no need to adjust its tightness or position.
However, once loaded up with a day’s worth of kit, the minimal padding and flexible structure mean there’s not much stopping hard and odd-shaped items pressing awkwardly into your back.
I preferred attaching items such as a pump to my bike to avoid this, or being careful with how they were positioned within the bag.
Once I’d added two rigid 620ml water bottles, comfort was reduced. A solution to this problem would be to use flexible flasks or bottles instead of rigid plastic ones.
The Dirt Roamer excels when it’s not stuffed full of items. Other packs of the same ilk, such as Camelbak’s Flow 4 and the Osprey Savu 2, don’t deliver the same comfort and reassuring stability the Dirt Roamer does.
The minimal movement and airy feel bridge the gap between the freedom of not carrying a pack at all and the need to carry the essentials while out riding.
Patagonia Dirt Roamer Waist Pack 3L bottom line
The Dirt Roamer feels like a featherlight pack when it’s strapped to your waist, but only when it isn’t overloaded. This makes it best for shorter rides, and will most suit riders who strap tools and hydration to their bike.
Impressively, it stays put over rough terrain and the waist strap barely needs readjusting during use, which makes the Dirt Roamer one of the best smaller-capacity waist packs on the market.
How we tested
We tested five hip packs designed to make life easier on the bike. We filled them with our usual all-day ride stuff, including tubes, pumps, snacks, tools and emergency supplies, and wore them while riding a wide variety of terrain in Scotland’s Tweed Valley.
This included trails with high-speed sections and super-technical features, to see whether they stayed put or bounced around and became uncomfortable. We also wore them for some daily rides and commutes, to see how user-friendly they are and whether they make our list of the best hip packs.
Packs on test